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November 10, 2019

Roger Federer

London, England, United Kingdom

D. THIEM/R. Federer

7-5, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What was the key to Dominic's victory today? Was it a slow start from you or just overwhelming play from him?
ROGER FEDERER: I thought he played well. Yeah, I mean, the start definitely didn't help. That put me, you know, on the back foot a little bit.

But I recovered well, and I thought after that the match was actually pretty even for a long period of time. Had my chances, I felt, you know. Didn't feel like I was outplayed or anything. Just maybe that first-round hiccups a little bit, not hitting your spots on the serve when you need to, getting into trouble early in the service games which maybe doesn't happen later on in the tournament.

I thought also Dominic saved himself real well when he had to, so I thought he played a tough first-round performance today, and my game was probably just not good enough, and the start didn't help.

Q. What would you say about the people that support you? Because sometimes, for us following the match, we put ourselves in the place of your opponent. It's kind of difficult to be in this role, because they keep supporting you until the end of the match. This is a good format for your fans, you know, to keep following you even though you lost your first match.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah. I mean, I don't think it's that incredibly difficult for the opponents. I don't think that the fans are unfair or anything.

I mean, I think my opponents are pretty happy when they play against me, as well, because usually it's on a big court and they make a good atmosphere, and that's what we play for.

From that standpoint, I thought the atmosphere was great. Tonight I wish I could have given them a bit more something to celebrate, but I felt like the fans were waiting and they were ready to go, but never quite took off, you know, and never could really quite take the lead. Maybe getting that break in the second set would have done exactly that, but I thought -- you know, it's a wonderful event here. I'm happy I have played here so many times so I could enjoy the crowds here, and I'm looking forward to the next two.

Q. I think you're probably going to play on Tuesday the loser of the other match, which is Berrettini, which is a sort of playoff, playout? How do you call it? Who loses has not many chances. What do you expect? For him is the first time he plays. And even Djokovic, in 2007 when he played first time, he didn't win one set. What do you forecast for that match?
ROGER FEDERER: My forecast, it's a normal tournament from here on forward. Not allowed to lose anymore for me. That's how it is every week of the year for the last 20 years, so from that standpoint there is nothing new there.

Matteo, with his serve, with what he can do, obviously any opponent is dangerous here. He didn't obviously have the best match today against Novak, you know. It's probably also the toughest way to start off the World Tour Finals, playing Novak on the indoors, because he rarely has hiccups as well early on in tournaments.

But, yeah, I've got to recover, I've got make sure I play better than today, and hopefully I can win that match.

Q. I was wondering, your next match could be Novak depending on the scheduling. Does it give you any confidence that the last time you beat him was actually here a few years ago, the round robin setting, considering that he hasn't been the easiest matchup for you over the years?
ROGER FEDERER: I'm not sure I understood everything, but yeah, I'm ready to play anybody at this point. I'm going to try my best.

Q. In terms of the older players, getting to this part of the season is tough, especially when you play top 8 every match. Rafa is coming in with an abdominal injury. Novak said he was ill in Paris. What do you do to recover to make sure that you get through the year and prepare for January?
ROGER FEDERER: I take breaks during the year. It's the only way. I can't play every week. Can't train every week. You need some vacation. You need some good training. You need enough matches so you get the flow going of the season.

And then you've got to listen to the signs of your body. It's as simple as that, really. Sometimes you've got to play through the pain, because in some ways, as much as we have to play, at the same time we can also take off whenever we want. We can stop the season at any give time.

Tournaments might not like it. Fans might not like it. But at the end of the day, I think everybody understands that also we have to take care of ourselves if we want to achieve longevity on the tour.

I said in an interview earlier this week, for me it's actually been easier later on in the season nowadays than it has been at the beginning of my career where you just go all out all the time. Then towards the end you're sort of running out of steam and you just can't wait to go on the beach, you know.

I don't feel that way because I take enough breaks throughout the season.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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